Before we head out the door with checklists in hand and the last-minute shopping commences, let’s take a minute to decide how we want to spend our money and where we want it to go afterward! This year ignore the hustle and bustle and decide to focus on the impact we can have at such a grand time of giving.
Our team has taken some time, this Holiday season, to do just that and we have come up with 12 amazing charities and organizations that make real differences every day! These are more than gifts under the tree or tucked into a stocking as they create change, comfort and bring a balance to the impact we are causing to our earth and oceans. The great part is that they make a great gift to anyone on your list.
We have included several options as well as available ways to get involved and the best part is, they do not all require your money, just a few minutes in order to send an ecard, pick out a cuddly friend or adopt an ocean animal. Continue to read below for all of our unique gift giving ideas we found and each day while you countdown to Christmas take a look at the charity and ask yourself how you can get involved in the season!
Picture via 4Ocean
4ocean has created a global movement to remove trash from the ocean and coastlines; currently, they have pulled over 2 million pounds of trash and counting from the oceans to date!
Each month, 4ocean has a new cause they focus on. This December is #4dolphins! Each year, over 300,000 cetaceans (more commonly known as dolphins, whales or porpoises) die from entanglement in debris people have left behind. At least 10% of dolphins were found to have plastic in their stomachs. 4oceans has teamed up with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to help save dolphins from plastic in the ocean. This holiday season you can join the movement by purchasing their Limited-Edition December Dolphin Bracelet to show your support! A meaningful gift idea for all dolphin lovers!
Picture via Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center rescues, rehabilitates, and releases sick and/or injured sea turtles through their Sea Turtle Conservation.
Adopt a Sea Turtle this Christmas! By adopting a sea turtle hatchling from Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, you can help contribute to the care of these little hatchlings as well as impacting the Gumbo Limbo Sea Turtle Conservation Program. Gumbo Limbo’s efforts improve the overall population of these endangered sea turtles and help create a healthier ecosystem for all coastal and marine life.
Our team had the privilege this summer of meeting some of the amazing people that work day and night to protect these beautiful creatures and for as low as a $25 contribution you can support them as well!
They monitor a five-mile span of beach that has over 800 nests a year! Each nesting season, they release more than 9,000 stranded hatchlings.
Picture via Surfrider Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation focuses on protecting and preserving our ocean, beaches & waves. With a volunteer network of 81 chapters & 85 clubs across the US Surfrider is 100% dedicated to protecting our waters. This Christmas simply send a free E-card to your friends and family and help contribute to this foundation by protecting our oceans from unnecessary waste! You can also start a fundraiser or as send a meaningful gift for Christmas by donating funds to create lasting protection of our oceans!
Picture via Lonely Whale Foundation
The Lonely Whale Foundation features the familiar face of actor and Co-Founder Adrian Grenier, who uses his platform and following to speak out about the issues that are affecting our oceans and marine life. Give the gift of a healthy ocean this Christmas with the Lonely Whale Foundation! Inspired by the power of community, Lonely Whale is pushing current technology and media to positively impact the health of our ocean. Choose to donate money in honor of someone this Christmas! You can donate anything from $10 and up. 100% of your donations will go to the support of the team's operations and campaigns to save our oceans.
Picture via Turtle Island Restoration Network
Turtle Island Restoration Network and many of their marine restoration programs work to protect endangered marine species, save critical ecosystems, improve consumer choices, encourage government action and inspire corporate responsibility. They work with the community to restore oceans, preserve rivers and streams, and protect marine wildlife. Adopt a nest of sea turtle hatchlings for yourself or a loved one this Christmas or make a difference for the future of our oceans and the wildlife that live there with an online donation. Each adoption comes with a personalized adoption certificate and a little information about these endangered sea turtles. What a wonderful gift to give this Holiday season!
Picture via The Marine Mammal Center
The Marine Mammal Center through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education protect and provide a healthy ocean for all wildlife to live in. There are many ways to give this Holiday, which you can check out here. You can donate, fundraise, give a bucket of fish and even give a legacy gift! Each gift that you give makes a huge difference in helping the wildlife at The Marine Mammal Center. The perfect gift and just the right size for any stocking this Christmas!
Picture via The Ocean Cleanup
The Ocean Cleanup has just successfully launched the largest clean up of all time! If they were to use a full-scale system of the technology they are employing as we speak, this technology could clean up 50% of the largest garbage patch in 5 years. With the trash growing in the oceans to 5 different garbage patches, the largest located between Hawaii and California, it is time to make a change. Not only does this trash affect the ecosystems in the oceans but it affects our health and economy. Support the cleanup and donate this Christmas season to a great cause!
8. Ocean Sole
Picture via Ocean Sole
Ocean Sole has taken it upon themselves to flip-flop pollution into art and functional products to promote recycling and cleaning our oceans. This Kenyan social enterprise focuses 100% on conservation entrepreneurship and has made significant improvements to the environment and the quality of life along the East African Coast. Each year, 50 Kenyan artists recycle over 400,000 flip flops! This year, you can help by purchasing one of these amazing flip-flop creations and flip the ‘flop’ for a more sustainable, healthy future for our oceans!
Picture via Oceana
Oceana is the largest organization that solely focuses on protecting and resorting the world’s oceans. They seek to make our oceans more biodiverse and plentiful by creating policies in the countries that control most of the world's marine life. To contribute to this wonderful organization, you can adopt an animal or purchase a product from their gift store! Your donations go to support Oceana's campaigns around the world to protect and restore our oceans.
Picture via Ocean Conservancy
The Ocean Conservancy has become a voice for the ocean! While our oceans face many threats such as ocean trash, overfishing and ocean acidification, you can become a voice for the ocean with The Ocean Conservancy this Christmas. A science-based solution is being created to help bring a healthy ocean to the wildlife and communities that depend on it. Donate today and make a difference for our future can help save our ocean and its marine life!
Picture via Coral Reef Alliance
Coral Reef Alliance protects the most valuable and threatened ecosystem; our reefs. They realize that the best way to save our worlds coral reefs is to collaborate with the people who are most closely connected to them. Partnering with local communities, Coral Reef Alliance has started some great initiatives such as Healthy Fisheries for Reefs, Clean Water for Reefs, Intact Reef Ecosystems and Science of Adaptation. Support your Coral Reefs today with a Holiday donation!
Picture via WWF
World Wildlife Fund work has broadened from simply saving species and landscapes to addressing the larger global threats that impact these species directly. Their new strategy revolves around six key areas; forests, marine, freshwater, wildlife, food, and climate. Together we can challenge these threats to our world. Adopt an animal, shop to support, leave a legacy or even travel with WWF! Show your support this Christmas season with helping our world be a better place.